- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 16, 2016

A Baltimore Police lieutenant and union leader was suspended Monday after sending an email referring to Black Lives Matter protesters as “thugs” to the entire police force, according to local news reports.

The email followed demonstrations outside the Hyatt Regency Baltimore hosting the four-day Maryland Fraternal Order of Police conference.

“By now you have seen that the THUGS from Black Lives Matter and other similar groups have attempted to disrupt the State FOP Convention being held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel,” Lt. Victor Gearhart, first vice president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 3 in Baltimore, wrote in the email obtained by WJZ, a local CBS News affiliate.

“Well today as check-in day with activities spread over the next 3 days so expect more bad behavior from the Thugs of Baltimore. On the bright side maybe they will stop killing each other while they are protesting us,” he wrote.

T.J. Smith, a Baltimore Police spokesman, said Police Commissioner Kevin Davis was outraged by Lt. Gearhart’s comments, which are now the subject of an internal investigation, The Baltimore Sun reported.

“This frustrated a number of people,” the spokesman told WJZ. “Calls have been coming in from officers about their outrage over this email.”

Mr. Smith said he could not confirm the suspension or comment on personnel matters, The Sun reported.

Lt. Gearhart filed a lawsuit against the police department earlier this year after a series of tweets resulted in his demotion. The 33-year veteran of the force wrote tweets saying “THUGS always act like THUGS” and “demonstrators act like animals,” resulting in him being reassigned to overnight security duty in January.

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